The four Minden (or is it Fife and Drum?) armed civilians in question just after their initial base coat of white acrylic gesso. In the morning, they'll get a second followed by a thin wash of alkyd oil fleshtone during Sunday afternoon.
Here we are. Already it is December 9th, and I have gotten myself into a friendly painting challenge with some wargaming friends and acquaintances, the usual suspects around the globe, who have led me unwittingly down the garden path before. You'd think that I would have learned by this time, but these guys are a wily and downright fast crowd. As my dear old mother, bless her, once warned, no good will come of it. "They'll be the ruin of you yet, son. How about something safer, like stamp collecting?"
In any case, I decided to keep things manageable this time, and I have pledged to paint just the four figures above for my planned Heroes of ? scenario (based on Steve Hezzlewood's and John Ray's Bouchard Raid) AND to finish the darn flags on those pairs of replacement standard bearers for my existing regiments of line infantry. I must double-check to be sure, but I believe the self-imposed deadline is Christmas Eve. More on this as things develop. But actually getting my seat back into the painting chair this evening is a start after about two months of little to no hobby activity feels like a huge victory in and of itself.
In completely unrelated news, although the Grand Duchess is away until tomorrow evening, the Young Master and I made the best of things in her absence. We boys enjoyed a delightfully quiet and relaxed Saturday here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold as light snow fell intermittently all day. Most of our time was spent down here in Zum Stollenkeller where he sketched, built with Legos, blocks, and tinker toys, and communed with the cats, who milled nearby most of the day, curious, seeking affection, purring and yet seemingly disinterested and noncommittal in that way that only cats are. Meanwhile, ol' Dad puttered around nearby on the computer and elsewhere unless I was fixing lunch and later dinner for the two of us in the kitchen. We also enjoyed classical and some Christmas music online as we worked.
Father and son also enjoyed an illicit mid-afternoon gingerbread cookie break -- Not a peep to Mom! -- feasting on several of the various Christmas cookies baked by the Young Master and his mother last Sunday afternoon. In a word, the day was delightful and reinforced my opinion that the best family time is totally free and unstructured time together at home, to alternately do your own thing and come together as your respective paths for the day converge, diverge, and reconverge several times during the waking hours.
We concluded the day, just before bedtime this evening, with two chapters from one of Paul's new books starring Geronimo Stilton, a mouse who is also a newspaper editor and solves, as near as I can tell, various mysteries with the assistance of his private-eye friend Hercule, who is also a mouse. Eight-year-old Paul reads quite well on his own by now, but he still enjoys story time with Dad before bed most evenings, which seems kind of nice. Someday, he won't want to do stuff like this anymore, so I am happy to continue going along with certain aspects of childhood, like bedtime stories, for as long as they last.
Finally, we don't quite have enough snow on the ground yet here in Mid-Michigan for skiing, but the three of us have our trusty cross-country (Nordic) skis lined up and waiting by the back door along with the old-fashioned wooden toboggan for three. Winter and Christmas may come in earnest anytime now as far as I am concerned.
There is nothing quite so magical, to me, as the first snowfall of the winter season. This was the sight that greeted us from our front step at about 9:30 this morning.